Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 27 March, 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 12 of 2009, Friday, 27 March 2009

Dear Reader

All eyes were on the Reserve Bank this week and we’ve seen a rate cut of 1%. Thank you Tito BUT we want more! This has been the general response in property industry. Send your viewpoint to news@cyberprop.com

The interest rate cut on top of a total of 150 basis points’ worth of reduction since December 2008, begins to make the interest rate stimulus significant, according to John Loos in his reaction to the Monetary Policy Committee move.

A 1% drop,” said Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, “enables someone with a R1 million bond (over 20 years) to reduce his mortgage payments from R12 440 to R11 720 per month. Homeowners are grateful for the almost R2 000 reduction in bond repayments since the interest rates started to decrease in December 2008. In 2006, however, when the rate was 11%, a R1 million bondholder would have paid only R10 320 per month.

It’s an appropriate moment in time to put the property market on ‘recovery watch’. That’s the word from Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group, who says that there are early signs that potential buyers who have had their property plans on hold for the last two years or so now need to start monitoring the market more closely with a view to putting those plans into effect. Time to put property on ‘recovery watch’

In the battle between the banks and the bond originators we can report that Standard Bank is still not accepting any new home loan applications that has been submitted through a bond originator. ABSA and FNB are the only two banks that has renegotiated new agreements with the bond originators.

Think twice before you decide to rent our your home for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. This “increases the risk of loss or damage to ones property and, more importantly, exposes one to liability claims from paying guests or tenants” warns Gari Dombo, Managing Director of Alexander Forbes Insurance. Don’t lose your shorts renting your home in 2010

The versatility of concrete is not just restricted to the large structural elements of buildings. You can actually go to Town when it comes to finishings and furniture for the home. Concrete beautifies the home

Enjoy!
The editor


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>> Real Estate news – What a recovery package for South Africa should contain

An economic recovery plan for the South African economy is being developed to respond to the impact of the global economic crisis on the country. There is pressure for government bailouts in many sectors of the economy.

For a South African bail-out to have any long-term impact, it will have to complement and improve on existing government economic development policies. Further, the South African financial sector does not seem too badly affected by the global financial crisis at present but there should be government plans to deal with the role played by the financial sector in the economy...

>> Rates Reaction – John Loos

JOHANNESBURG (March 23) - Today’s interest rate cut on top of a total of 150 basis points’ worth of reduction since December 2008, begins to make the interest rate stimulus significant, according to John Loos in his reaction to the Monetary Policy Committee move.

On a R500 000 20-year bond at prime rate, the reduction in the monthly required payment value since the 15,5% prime rate at beginning of December is now R912 in total, i.e. just short of R1k per month lower...

>> Rates Reaction – Andrew Golding

CAPE TOWN (March 23) – Reacting to today's decision by the Monetary Policy Committee to reduce the repo rate by one percent (100 basis points), Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group, said while this was most welcome news, a two percent decrease would have sent a really meaningful positive message to the economy.

"At the previous meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni indicated that his recommendation then was for a 200 percent reduction and it is widely acknowledged that our economy needs a significant kickstart. The interest rate increases implemented since 2006 – while experiencing lag before taking effect – have had the cumulative effect of placing a major dampener on economic growth and market sentiment...

>> Rates Reaction – RE/MAX of Southern Africa

CAPE TOWN (March 23) – Today’s interest rate cut of 100 basis points in the repurchase rate has been welcomed by RE/MAX of Southern Africa, not just for the much-needed relief it will deliver existing home owners and market stimulation, but for the Government’s timeous response to the situation.

The rate adjustment was supported by the commercial banks with the lowering of their lending rates to the public i.e. prime and mortgage rates, by 100 basis points to a new level of 13 percent from the current 14 percent...

>> Rates Reaction – Keith Wakefield

DURBAN (March 23) - Today’s 1% cut in the prime interest rate is excellent news. It will be good for all sectors of the economy and hopefully keep the wolf from the door of those who are battling to hang on to their homes, says Keith Wakefield CEO of Wakefields Estate Agents.

This third cut in interest rates since December will go a long way to improving the property market and Wakefield expects market activity to increase in coming weeks. Buyers who have been sitting on the fence and investors who have been out of the market should start returning, he says.

However, Wakefield warns sellers not to expect any movement in house prices for at least the remainder of the year. The market is exceptionally weak and sellers must understand that there is an excess of property for sale.

“Until some of that slack has been taken up there will be no price movement. Buyers also remain cautious and selective with a lot of well-priced property to choose from,” he said

Article from: www.rodneyhayter.com

>> Rates Reaction – Seeff Properties

CAPE TOWN (March 23) - Commenting on the Governor’s announcement of a one percent cut in the interest rate today, Seeff Properties chairman Samuel Seeff said that a further one and a half percent drop would be needed to immediately impact on the entire market – “not merely buyers and sellers, but agents, conveyancers and builders.

“With a two and a half percent drop, we’ll see buyers presently sitting on the fence, acting and pushing activity levels in the market up significantly.”

“The fact that the MPC will now meet every month has done a lot to lift the business mood in a market struggling from lack of confidence, but still, a real significant stimulus is needed to lift the flailing economy.

Article from: www.rodneyhayter.com

>> Rates Reaction – Jawitz Properties

JOHANNESBURG (March 23) - Herschel Jawitz CEO of Jawitz Properties has welcomed today’s decision to lower interest rates by 100 basis points but cautions that the market may soften further before bottoming out and that the start of the recovery is probably likely only towards the end of the year.

“The challenge to the recovery of the market is consumer confidence. We have definitely seen more activity in the market in 2009 compared to the end of 2008. There are more people looking but it hasn’t yet translated into more sales. People want to buy but they need to be reassured about where the economy is heading before they put pen to paper

The banks’ tight lending criteria also continues to be a significant challenge in the market even with rates dropping and disposable income rising.

For current homeowners, the rate drop will be most welcome and will continue to put more money into their pockets. For a person with a bond of R1 million, repayments will have come down by approximately R1 300 per month since January which is meaningful. The same applies to a person who is looking to buy – with rates and property prices coming down – affordability goes up

Article from: www.rodneyhayter.com

>> Rates Reaction – Absa

JOHANNESBURG (March 23) - Last week it was announced that the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will meet once every month in the rest of 2009, except in July.

Today, after a two-day meeting, the key monetary policy interest rate – the repo rate – was cut by 100 basis points to 9,5%. In reaction to this, commercial banks lowered their lending rates to the public, i.e. prime and mortgage rates, by 100 basis points to a level of 13,0%. Interest rates have been cut by a cumulative 250 basis points since December 2008...

>> Interest-rate cut welcome – but should be only a first step

The 1% drop in the interest rate decreed this week by the SA Reserve Bank is welcome – but will have to be followed soon by cuts of at least another 1% if the SA residential property market is to recover momentum and start seeing value rises.

This is the view of Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties...

>> Rate cut comment - Sotheby's International Realty

The real importance of this week's one percentage point cut in interest rates is that it will help existing homeowners to keep their homes and start to turn the tide of bond defaults and repossessions.

"The rate cut - the third since December - is an important step in the right direction for the property market," says Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby's International Realty in SA. "It will probably not have a noticeably beneficial effect on sales volumes or property values, because the main obstacle to buying at the moment is not actually interest rates but the high deposits required by the banks before they will grant home loans. There is also always a six to nine month lag between any interest rate shift and its effect on sales...

>> Don’t lose your shorts renting your home in 2010

As the world turns its attention to South Africa for the 2010 world cup many South Africans are thinking to cash in on this bonanza by renting their homes, or part of their homes, to tourists.

This, however, “increases the risk of loss or damage to ones property and, more importantly, exposes one to liability claims from paying guests or tenants” warns Gari Dombo, Managing Director of Alexander Forbes Insurance...

>> Hold on to your properties, do not sell, value rises are on the horizon, says Rawson MD

Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, says that he was surprised recently to find, on attending a business person's lunch, that there are still Cape investors who fear that a further 20% to 30% drop in property prices is possible – and who are therefore actually disinvesting from property.

“I simply cannot see on what information such opinions can be based,” he said...

>> Time to put property on ‘recovery watch’

It’s an appropriate moment in time to put the property market on ‘recovery watch’.

That’s the word from Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group, who says that there are early signs that potential buyers who have had their property plans on hold for the last two years or so now need to start monitoring the market more closely with a view to putting those plans into effect...

>> Advice to sectional title owners - get onto your body corporate committee to protect your assets

If you own an apartment or townhouse in a sectional title property, make absolutely sure that your body corporate is competent and, if possible, get onto the committee yourself.

This hard-hitting advice was put out this week by Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank...

>> Deposit demands hit small town markets

Homebuyers in many smaller towns are struggling to come up with the hefty deposits now required by banks, and this is depressing local property markets and prices.

Dewald van der Merwe, owner of the Aida franchise covering the north-eastern Free State, says the requirements are keeping prospective buyers - notably first-time buyers - out of the market in towns such as Villiers, Frankfort, Tweeling and Cornelia in the Mafube municipal district...

> Property market takes heart from Mboweni

THE Reserve Bank’s decision to cut the prime lending rate by 100 basis points is expected to reduce pressure on bondholders, slow property repossessions, release billions of rand back into the South African economy and stimulate spending.

Commercial banks lowered their lending rates to the public, taking the prime rate to 13%, giving them a breather. This means for every million rand that a bondholder owes, they would get back R720 a month...

>> Bank snubs originators

Standard Bank is not accepting any new applications for home loans received from bond originators, Business Report said on Wednesday.

The action seems to be related to efforts by all the major banks to renegotiate the agreements that the banks have with mortgage originators — and specifically to slash the commissions paid to originators, the newspaper said...

>> Concrete beautifies the home

The versatility of concrete is not just restricted to the large structural elements of buildings. You can actually go to Town when it comes to finishings and furniture for the home.

Outdoor furniture, pool surrounds, water features and planters have long been favoured as uses for pre-cast concrete. But now, concrete has moved indoors with a flourish...

>> Emerging trends in Real Estate

The Urban Land Institute and PriceWaterhouseCoopers have just published the latest "Emerging trends in Real Estate", although it focuses on the international market and America and Canada in particular, it makes for very interesting reading. Two quotes I think are appropriate for our property market “Investments made in 2009 could result in substantial future returns.” and “It’s time to work your asset base the best you can and realize you can’t stop losing some value. Do the best you can to lose less.” You can download this report at The Urban Land Institute...

>> Beware the inexperienced developer

The last 24 months have shown conclusively which Cape property developers are really professional and which have had too little management and business experience and therefore lack the skills to be developers in more competitive times.

The tough conditions have also shown that there is a wide variety of ethical standards among developers as regards the quality of their projects, whom they employ and how and when they pay their selling agent...

>> New survey shows Jo'burg market carnage

Sales volumes have dropped by up to 100 percent in some Johannesburg suburbs and home prices have fallen substantially in most parts of the metropole, according to the Gauteng Property Price Indicator (GPPI) produced annually by Sotheby’s International Realty in SA.

Compiled from Deeds Office figures, this reveals the shocking extent of the damage done to the Johannesburg property market over the past year by the combination of high interest rates and the credit shutdown...

>> Make occupation arrangements in writing

A successful home sale is usually cause for celebration, but a change to the occupational arrangements post-sale can quickly sour relations between buyer and seller and result in ugly disputes.

So says Homenet CEO Martin Schultheiss, who notes that such disputes usually arise because either the buyer or the seller has changed the original arrangements set down in the occupational clause of the sale agreement arbitrarily and without mutual consent...

>> What’s the deal with private selling?

Homeowners with properties to sell are breaking with tradition and ditching estate agents in favour of finding their own buyers. With prices under pressure, selling privately is taking off because of the money you can save yourself in commission. But isn’t a sluggish market the time when you most need the skills of an estate agent? We look at what it takes to sell your own home.

After years of buying and selling investment properties, Cape Town-based investor Steve Binos decided to take a stab at selling his home himself...

>> To the editor

Thank you in advance for reading this e-mail. This opportunity could make a huge difference to people's lives in your area if your Municipality OR Property Developers have serviced land (electricity, water and sewage) available. HIAC(House in a Can) was established with the sole intention of providing an affordable cost, but high-quality housing alternative to the South African and African markets.

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South Africa has the fastest growing middle class in the developing world, resulting in an abnormal growth in demand for entry level housing. It is well documented that the Department of Housing is experiencing a shortage in excess of 2 million homes for the RDP & informal settlement sectors alone.

The concept is relatively simple. The entire house is manufactured in a factory under ideal conditions with professional supervision. Every step of the manufacturing process is exposed to stringent quality control inspection and once passed, is containerized and shipped to site for final assembly.

See http://www.houseinacan.co.za/about.html

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If you have any further questions please email: MICHAEL - mdeegan@telkomsa.net

Send your viewpoints or comments on any of the articles, or questions you may have to news@cyberprop.com

>> News from Britannia Bay Developers

CAPE DEVELOPER SAYS DO NOT BLAME CAPITALISM OR PROPERTY FOR WORLD’S ECONOMIC CRISIS.

An aspect of the current global downtown that annoys him greatly, says Cape property developer Gert Joubert, is that those with left wing leanings are using the situation to discredit capitalism...

>> In the area...

The areas we are going to take a closer look at this week are;

  • Oyster Bay
  • Stilfontein
>> In the area 1 – Oyster Bay

The quiet holiday village of Oyster Bay on the Eastern Cape coast holds significant potential for property investors.

So says John Cooper, principal of the local Chas Everitt International franchise, who notes that the Eastern Cape is one of the fastest developing provinces in South Africa in terms of tourism and property, but that instead of heading for the usual coastal hot-spots, tourists are now increasingly seeking alternatives among the more remote and less commercialised coastal getaways...

>> In the area 2 – Stilfontein

Stilfontein now a target for investors

Demand for rental properties in and around Klerksdorp has created opportunities for buy-to-let investors, and old mine houses in Stilfontein, about 15km away, are being targeted.

Wesley Lamprecht of the local Aida estate office says prices for the Stilfontein mine houses start at around R250 000, compared to about R550 000 for family units in the older areas of Klerksdorp. Landlords of Stilfontein properties are thus in a position to offer lower rents, which are actively sought by new residents who have been transferred to the area...

>> Focus on Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Waterval Boven is a small town situated on the edge of the Escarpment on the banks of the Elands River above the 75m Elands Falls on the railway line from Pretoria to Maputo in Mpumalanga. Hence the name which means "above the waterfall" in Dutch.

The Elands River Waterfall is visible from the mouth of the old Railway Tunnel...

>> View Properties in Waterval Boven
>> View Properties in Mpumalanga

>> Property of the week

Mpumalanga, Waterval Boven

Magnificant estate in beautiful scenic Waterval Boven area. Main home with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms. Self-contained thatched cottage in garden...

Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3

Search for property in your area

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>> Estate agency flexibility is the key to survival in the current market slowdown

Ivan Neethling, Chief Executive of the estate agency, Startpop, outlined some of the tactics which have helped agencies such as his to survive the worst downturn in the property market for 20 years – and he went on to predict that the long awaited stabilisation of prices is now not far off.

Agencies, said Neethling, had had to be able to read market trends and respond appropriately to these if they were to ride out the enormous challenges of the current housing market...

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